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Peru’s cocaine surge

Police test confiscated cocaine at a police base in Lima. Today, Peruvian traffickers produce pure cocaine for export, not the paste that was once regularly shipped to Colombia for final processing. (Karel Navarro / Associated Press)
A Peruvian policeman tosses bricks of cocaine into a fire. “Peru will not resign itself to be a country of narco-trafficking,” vowed Peruvian President Alan Garcia. (Aizar Raldes / AFP-Getty Images)
Suspected Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, guerrillas captured during a November 2007 raid that also yielded a large arms cache. The drug trade, authorities say, is stimulating a fresh incarnation of the group, which terrorized the nation before being beaten down in the 1990s. “Shining Path isn’t about ideology anymore,” said Gen. Juan Zarate, who heads Peru’s eradication effort. “Now it’s all about the narco-business.” (Peruvian Ministry of Interior)
“Eradicators” seek out coca plants in Peru’s Upper Huallaga Valley during operations this year. The eradicators don helmets, eye protection and bulletproof vests to protect them from attacks and bombs. They use long lances to pull up coca bushes that may be booby-trapped. (Peruvian Special Project for the Control and Reduction of Coca in the Upper Huallaga)